Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - OPINION - ROGER BLACK MBE BHF Am­bas­sador for Re­search

I am writ­ing to in­vite your read­ers to sign up to be a Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion (BHF) Heart Run­ner at this year’s Blen­heim Palace Half Marathon and 10km on Oc­to­ber 2 to help fight back against heart dis­ease.

Twenty years ago, I was for­tu­nate enough to rep­re­sent Great Bri­tain at At­lanta’s Olympics Games, win­ning sil­ver in the 400m and 4x400m re­lay. This in­cred­i­ble achieve­ment might not have been pos­si­ble. At the age of 11, doc­tors dis­cov­ered I had con­gen­i­tal heart dis­ease and my aor­tic valve was leak­ing. Doc­tors agreed I could take part in com­pet­i­tive sports as long as I was closely mon­i­tored through yearly hospi­tal ap­point­ments. I at­tended each ap­point­ment for 39 years, miss­ing just one to at­tend the At­lanta Olympic Games.

As I watch this year’s Olympic Games in Rio, my mem­o­ries of the iconic event flood back. Unit­ing peo­ple across the globe, through the love of sport, it was a truly in­spir­ing mo­ment.

I am de­lighted to be sup­port­ing the BHF’s Blen­heim Palace 10km and Half Marathon. The event will see floods of peo­ple unit­ing in the fight against heart dis­ease – for ev­ery mile you run, you will be help­ing fund the BHF’s life-saving re­search, which has ben­e­fit­ted me and 7 mil­lion oth­ers across the UK. In the South East, there are an es­ti­mated 920,000 peo­ple liv­ing with heart and cir­cu­la­tory dis­ease and it is re­spon­si­ble for nearly 22,000 deaths each year. But by tak­ing part in this event, you can re­ally make a dif­fer­ence. Along­side around 3,000 amaz­ing Heart Run­ners who have al­ready signed up, we want to raise in ex­cess of £180,000 for the BHF’s vi­tal re­search into heart and cir­cu­la­tory dis­ease.

If you’re feel­ing in­spired by watch­ing and cheer­ing on this gen­er­a­tion of Olympians, be­come a Heart Run­ner and sign up to run 2km, 10km or a half marathon through the beau­ti­ful grounds of Blen­heim Palace.

To reg­is­ter for the Blen­heim Palace 2km fun run, 10k or Half Marathon please www. bhf.org.uk/Blen­heim or you can find out more about the BHF’s pro­gramme of run­ning events by visit­ing bhf.org.uk/ events or by con­tact­ing the events team at events@bhf.org.uk or 0845 130 8663

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